Old cemetery receives new landscaping | Local/Regional

There is new landscaping at the 220 year old Riverside Cemetery.

On May 22nd and 23rd, a talented crew from Bradford County Community Service planted 200 native plugs of ornamental grass in 11 areas of the 5.5 acre property. The grasses were donated by NorthCreek Nurseries of Oxford, Pennsylvania, who have customers across the country. In addition, an apartment donated by Farmer Fred’s was planted with African daisies around the flagpole. Wysox Sand & Gravel donated two and a half tons of sand and Towanda Borough provided two and a half tons of mother soil to create the planting beds for the grasses. Arey’s Building Supply donated two dozen pairs of gloves to support the project.

All but two of the planted areas are in full sunshine at the northern end of the property at 122 William St. The largest newly planted area is between two backless benches. It contains three types of grass, with the larger tall blue stalk grass on each end and shorter sideoats gramma and purple love grass in the middle and some on the back of the benches.

“When the grasses reach their full height between 2 and 6 feet, this area is expected to provide an attractive and comfortable conversation environment,” said Cemetery General Manager Marguerite Fox Picou. “The other nine planting areas are intended to give the property an overall visual impression and elements of soil protection.”

As expected, over the course of over 200 years, a number of trees, bushes, and other plants on the property have declined, largely due to weather and age. Plans for the cemetery, unveiled at a community workshop in 2018, envision that more native landscaping will be added over the next two to three years.

Riverside Cemetery is Bradford County’s oldest cemetery open to the public for burial, and is a major feature in the Historic District of Towanda Borough. No burials have occurred there for 11 years. Since it is no longer considered an active burial site, there are plans to make it a historical place with added value. So far, benches have been set up to provide vantage points of the scenic Susquehanna River, its canyon walls, flora and fauna, the Veterans Memorial Bridge, and the Bradford County Courthouse in downtown Towanda. For more information, please email the Riverside Cemetery Association at rca122history@comcast.net, phone c / o 570-637-2281; mail c / o 31 Walnut St., Towanda, PA 18848.

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